New Delhi, Aug.30 (ANI): The bickering in the BJP sparked off by the drubbing in the 14th Lok Sabha polls has let open the can of worms in the saffron party.
BJP which claims to be “structured” and always talked about taking the high moral ground of being democratic, appears to be shattered like no one could expected, not even its principal rival party the Congress.
Apparently, trouble began brewing in the saffron camp when the suave, English spouting, tech savvy leaders, often termed as the outsiders by the swayamsewaks, took centre stage and became the key decision makers about the party’s politics.
BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate and Loh Purush Lal Krishan Advani, whooiled hard to adorn Vajpayee’s inclusive image, miserably failed to strike a balance between the swayamsewaks and the outsiders.
Rajnath Singh did manage to win the hearts and minds of the core ideological workers but his hard-line approach and demagogic characteristics let him down among the league of the so called “outsiders”.
But, undoubtedly, Singh failed to demonstrate coherence and vision as the President of main opposition party of the Lok Sabha on key issues like Indo-US nuclear deal and response post 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks besides not being able to bring radical organizational reforms within the BJP.
Vacuum at the top-level offered room for the second-rung leaders to exercise and flaunt their authority in the decision-making.
All this gave confused or wrong signals to the cadres of the organization, for whom discipline has remained a binding force for decades.
It’s no secret that Arun Jaitley , Sushma Swaraj, Vekaiah Naidu and even
Ananth Kumar, considered close to Advani and draw their basic strength from him, showed reluctance and disregard in taking orders from party President Rajnath Singh ,which ultimately fuelled factionalism in the party.
Rajnath looked and sought Sangh Parivar’s shadow to counter his detractors in the party and soon become the blue-eyed boy of RSS.
Though RSS poster boy Rajnath publicly never displayed his annoyance or disagreement with Advani or his brigade but the prevailing discomfort was apparently visible on many occasions.
Discord came to the fore when Advani camp started taking different line and defying Rajnath Singh openly on key issues. In one such instance, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, when Sudhanshu mittal was inducted by Singh as a Prabhari of North East , Jaitley defied Singh and made no bones in opposing the move . Off late Vasundhra who is considered close to Advani and his family, has shown reluctance to step down as the Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan State Assembly on Rajnath’s call.
There were several instances on which Advani and his followers held divergent views from Rajnath’s thinking and the authority of party President on party affairs and leadership waned dramatically in last three years.
Singh might have failed to impress or befriend hawks at centre like Jaitley ,Swaraj ,Naidu or Ananth Kumar but did get solace from the state leadership, he found a sense of loyalty in RSS’ icons Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Narendar Modi, he also shared good relationship with Chawal Baba Shivraj Singh Chauhan.
Advani’s love and penchant towards the intellectuals and journalists brought him extremely close to Arun Shourie, Jaswant Singh , Sudheendra Kulkarni. But this fascination distanced him from the core ideologues of the party.
In a bid to build up his inclusive and visionary image, Advani, who is seen as the architect of Babri mosque demolition by many quarters of the country, had somewhere lost the plot.
Jinnah fiasco did not move him and he tirelessly made efforts to rid himself from the image of “communal untouchable” to Mr. Secularist. The intelligentsia injected and indoctrinated into the BJP’s Prime Minister-in- waiting that until he bridged the gap with the Muslim community, he could not get to the 7 RCR .
The ideas like Akhand Bharat (united India), cultural nationalism, Ram temple in Ayodhya, which rode the party to the power thrice, took the backseat for Advani but carried on and taken forward by the BJP ‘s President Bal Apte report did held responsible the “prevalent inconsonance” among the top leadership for the defeat in the recent elections.
Today, BJP is in shambles. Once again, the RSS and the top leadership are trying to fix the discontent. But, by merely changing the leaders will these deep-rooted divergences and differences will be ironed out?
A mere reshuffle will not sort out the mess and RSS should think of new alternatives and draw new central leadership from the States, people like Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Narendra Modi, B.S Yediyurappa and Modi have proved their mettle in the states and will be more than willing to perform at the national stage.
Reshuffle can stave off the pressure and trouble temporarily but it is notnough to have a long term solution.
Arun Shourie’s suggestion to bomb the headquarters like the communists did, sounds dogmatic and radical, but sometimes last option is the only option.
And If BJP has to rebuild and resurrect itself before the 15th Lok Sabha elections, it has to pass many litmus tests and the landscape of the central leadership has to be changed. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)